Picochip and Wavesat achieve key LTE IOT milestones for femtocells, picocells and user equipment

in press-release, IOT, Femtocell, LTE

Picochip and Wavesat have completed interoperability testing (IOT) between Picochip’s PC960x LTE small cell basestation solution and Wavesat’s Odyssey 9000 family of UE chipsets. Completing this series of LTE service and IOT milestones represents success in the two companies’ jointly stated aim of delivering full performance with end-to-end interoperability.

“Open interoperability is key to the success of any cellular technology,” notes Peter Jarich, Service Director with Current Analysis. “To be sure, interoperability usually develops over time. Here, the fact that semiconductor reference designs are of a maturity and quality to support end-to-end system test, verification and IOT is an encouraging sign for the pace of LTE development and likely to accelerate the maturation of the market. In a recent (November 2010) straw poll on femtocells by Current Analysis, 94% of respondees from the femtocell ecosystem felt that small cells were critical to LTE deployment. Obviously, the availability of interoperable network and UE products is an essential part of that.”

The first Wavesat Odyssey 9000 chipsets feature CAT-3 performance (100 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink) for user equipment such as USB dongles, data cards, mobile handsets and tablets/MIDs. These were tested with Picochip’s PC9608/9 ‘small cell’ basestation development platform developed jointly with Continuous Computing (CCPU), connecting to both network test and commercial EPC gateway products.

The two companies announced in March 2010 a memorandum of understanding concerning end-to-end LTE interoperability testing for their products. This assists LTE network operators, systems integrators and OEM/ODM system manufacturers, who stand to benefit from the availability of the combined, tested technologies such as fully conformant / ready-to-ship eNodeB reference designs.

“Working with Wavesat has enabled Picochip’s team at our IOT lab here in Bath to rapidly deliver a level of functionality and performance in excess even of our own expectations. The speed of integration was especially pleasing,” said David Maidment, VP of Product Management at Picochip. “The Picochip Home eNodeB reference platform is in integration testing with leading infrastructure vendors and network operators, and showing end-to-end IOT with both core and commercial UE bodes well for next year.”

“Our two companies are committed to broadening the LTE ecosystem with full featured femtocell, picocell and end user devices,” said Anil Barot, VP of Marketing & Business Development at Wavesat. “These results demonstrate the proven reality of open market small cells and commercial UEs delivering high performance. Our joint efforts will give more confidence to network equipment manufacturers and carriers about deploying fully interoperable and pre-tested systems.”

Femtocells and picocells improve mobile voice and data service at business and residential customer premises, in metropolitan hot zones and in sparsely populated rural areas. They are becoming critical components of 3G and 4G networks, and are expected to play a key role in the roll-out of LTE.

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